7 Steps to Finding the Perfect Senior Living Community
When looking for senior living for yourself or a loved one, you may be surprised to see what wonderful options are available for seniors today. While in the past communities may have implemented a “one-size fits all” mentality in the world of senior care, modern senior living providers understand the importance of personalized care and a well-rounded lifestyle. Now, there are lots of different options, many of which offer luxury amenities and lifestyle services far beyond basic senior care.
But with hundreds of options in most areas, finding the best senior living options for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming process, one that is similar in many ways to shopping for a house. The good news is that our expert advisors can make that process much easier.
Below, we offer a step-by-step outline to guide you in finding the right senior living.
How to Find the Right Senior Living Community
1. Speak to a Family Advisor
Our Family Advisors are trained experts in senior care and have the resources to do an in-depth search of senior living communities in every area of the country. This is a free service we offer to seniors and their families and is a great place to start the process. Our advisors will even let you know if there are benefits, like Veterans Benefits, that you may be missing out on. If you have not yet spoken to a Family Advisor, call (800) 973-1540.
2. Determine the Needed Care Level
Senior care operates on a spectrum, ranging from Independent Living Communities for active seniors, to Assisted Living Communities with varying degrees of care available, to communities that specialize in Memory Care, and much more. Within each of these levels of care, there are varying types of communities and amenities available. One of the first things a Family Advisor will do is ask you some questions to determine the right level of care for yourself or a loved one to help you narrow down your search to the best options for your needs.
3. Decide on a Price Point
Senior living communities come at a range of different price points, from affordable to very expensive for luxury communities. To avoid frustration and disappointment in the future, it is critical that you establish a realistic price point for you that is based on your available resources. Again, here’s where a Family Advisor can help tremendously. They will help you to explore all of the potential sources of money to pay for senior living, including:
- Veterans Benefits
- Long-term care insurance
- Social Security
- Pensions, annuities, and other retirement income
- Real estate assets that can be sold or leveraged
- Other assets that can be sold or leveraged
- Life insurance
- Family contributions
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Local government programs
4. Create a List of Potential Matches in the Target Areas
Next, your Family Advisors will build a list of communities that have the right care level and amenities, at the right price point, and in the right locations. They will then email it to you, complete with pictures, features and amenities, consumer reviews, prices, and more. Your Family Advisor can also help you set up times to tour communities in your area.
5. Tour Your Top Choices
While you can find great information about senior living communities online, there’s no substitute for touring. It’s important to see the environment first-hand, experience the atmosphere, enjoy the amenities, taste the food, meet the staff and the residents, and visualize what it will be like to live there. If you’re unable to visit a community in person, set up a live virtual tour where you can still see the community in real-time and ask questions to community staff.
6. Ask the Right Questions
While visiting communities or doing a virtual live tour, you have a prime opportunity to get the information you need most to make a good decision. To assist you, we have created three checklists that you can download and use before, during, and after your visits. The checklists can be accessed by clicking the links below:
We hope that you find these checklists to be valuable resources in your search for the right senior living option. Though written with those seeking assisted living in mind, the checklists can be applied for tours of other types of senior living communities as well.
7. Select the Best Senior Living Option
Finally, after touring several communities, it’s time to decide. After your tours, you may have a gut instinct about which is the best option. If not, think about what’s most important to you and make your decision based on that. Do you predict you’ll need frequent doctor’s visits? Choose the community that’s most convenient to the office. Do you love to exercise? Choose the community with the most robust fitness class offerings or the biggest fitness center.
Choosing a senior living community is always a big decision, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Follow these seven steps and use our checklists to help make the process more manageable.
For expert advice from a Family Advisor today, call (800) 973-1540.
Additional Senior Living Resources
The following guides can help you better understand today’s senior living options to demystify the process. See below for more information on the types of senior living, paying for senior living, and more.